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Sharjeel Khan, Khurram Manzoor shine in huge stand as Sindh outclass Central Punjab
Match Report

Sharjeel Khan, Khurram Manzoor shine in huge stand as Sindh outclass Central Punjab

Sharjeel Khan and Khurram Manzoor stitched a colossal 134-run opening partnership as Sindh comfortably beat Central Punjab by seven wickets.

It was the second successful chase of the day after Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's canter against Balochistan occurred on the docile Multan surface.

Central Punjab skipper Saad Nasim's decision to bat first backfired for his team as the top-order crumbled amidst disciplined bowling from Sindh.

The early departure of Kamran Akmal meant Nasim's men were always struggling for fluency as they found it difficult to find boundaries regularly.

The flow of runs continued to dry up compared to their exquisite batting performance two nights ago where debutant Abdullah Shafique starred with a record ton.

However, the youngster was plagued with a woeful lack of touch on Friday and could not kick on to make his start count, perishing for a tame 25-ball 18.

Nasim's stay at the crease was equally painful (16-ball 14) whereas Abid Ali fought a lone battle and registered his third T20 half-century to lead his team towards a respectable total.

A final flourish from the unlikely duo of Qasim Akram and Usman Qadir lifted Central Punjab to 154-7 in 20 overs.

A collaborative team effort from Sindh's bowling line-up was the chief reason behind CP's pitiable grind as Sohail Khan picked three wickets while left-arm spinner Mohammad Asghar snaffled two crucial scalps.

In response, Sharjeel and Manzoor flattened Central Punjab with their supreme stand in quick time to gallop towards the insufficient target.

Sharjeel was the clear aggressor of the two as he smashed his second T20 half-century since his return to competitive cricket. Manzoor too reached a fifty of his own, coming off 45 balls but got out on the very next ball.

Sharjeel and Manzoor's dismissals in the space of three deliveries reignited minimal hopes of an improbable win for Central Punjab but Azam Khan thoroughly extinguished these aspirations with a couple of enormous maximums in the penultimate over.

The manner in which the winning run arrived for Sindh, a wide bowled by Ehsan Adil, marked a torrid day in the field for last year's bottom-dwellers Central Punjab.